01 Aug 2013 10:00

The national airline of Serbia now has a new name – Air Serbia – and a new corporate logo and colour scheme, as part of the largest transformation of its 86-year history. 

The change signals not only a rebranding of the former Jat Airways, but a whole new identity, affirming that Air Serbia will be a completely different airline.

Driving the change is Etihad Airways, the national carrier of United Arab Emirates, which has secured regulatory approval to acquire 49 per cent of Air Serbia and been awarded a five year management contract.

Announcing the groundbreaking deal today, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said the rebranding signalled the arrival of an all-new airline and exciting new opportunities for Serbia.

“This is not just a change in strategy,” said Mr. Hogan. “It is a package of changes so significant that the airline requires a change of identity and appearance.”

The Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, said a strong national carrier was essential not only for the Serbian economy but for national pride.

“The people of Serbia value their heritage and their national identity,” Mr.Vučić said.

“This change signals a break with the national airline’s past practice but not with its strong ethnic roots.“The name Air Serbia will carry the national identity into other markets, and clearly establish the Serbian brand in a way that Jat Airways could not.”

The newly-installed Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, Dane Kondic, said the rebranding ultimately would cover every part of the airline, from aircraft exteriors to cabin crew uniforms, ticket offices, boarding passes and advertising.

“The new brand will take the Serbian name and its red, white and blue colour scheme from Belgrade to the world,” Mr Kondic said.

He also revealed that a key figure in the rebranding of the national airline was 25-year-old graphic design student Tamara Maksimovicfrom the Serbian city of Novi Sad.

At the end of her course, Tamara was required to develop a portfolio of branding designs for an organisation of her choice. “I wanted a big project, something with a lot of detail and a lot of applications,” she explained. “It came to my mind to choose an airline. I chose Jat Airways.”

The airline discovered Tamara’s portfolio on a graphic design website, and engaged her to design the new branding for Air Serbia.

“Branding is what I love the most,’ Tamara said. “The Jat Airways design came from the former Yugoslavia. I wanted to refresh it and make it Serbian. This is very exciting. Seeing the design now I’m super proud of it.”

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